While Andrew Luck was the top pick in the NFL draft, does that mean he should be considered the best rookie quarterback for fantasy owners? Absolutely not. Let’s take a look at how we rank the crop of rookie quarterbacks for the upcoming season:
1. Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins
While Andrew Luck was the top pick in the NFL draft and could be the better quarterback long-term, from a fantasy standpoint Griffin figures to produce more immediately. It comes due to his ability to use his legs, much like Cam Newton did a year ago. That’s not to say that Griffin is a perfect option and will have that same type of impact, because I don’t think he will, but having that ability gives him more upside.
2. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
It was a surprise when Reggie Wayne opted to stick with the Colts, but it gives the young Luck a veteran target, something that should help him significantly. That said, he is replacing a legend in Peyton Manning and there will likely be some significant growing pains for the rookie. That’s not to say that he’s not going to be productive and, long-term, he will likely be a QB1. In dynasty leagues you should be drooling to get your hands on him, but for this season I wouldn’t be looking towards him as a starter in single quarterback leagues. I’d be viewing him more as a QB2.
3. Brandon Weeden – Cleveland Browns
He’s already 28-years old, so you can argue that he has experience on his side but also less time to develop. I mean, if the Browns want to get something out of him they can’t have him sitting on the sidelines and adjusting to the NFL game. He will have the opportunity to overtake Colt McCoy immediately, which gives him opportunity. Obviously, this offense is likely going to revolve around Trent Richardson, however, and his receivers give little to get excited about. He’s a QB3, at best, and isn’t even a guarantee to keep the job all year (as long as McCoy is still around).
4. Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins
In dynasty leagues he is the clear #3 option, but as we head into the 2012 season there is no guarantee that he even plays. With Matt Moore and David Garrard also on the roster, the Dolphins have players that make sense if they want to give Tannehill time to learn and grow before throwing him to the wolves. While it’s possible he could start from the outset, it’s far more likely that he won’t get the opportunity until mid-year at the earliest.
5. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are an unconventional franchise, but would they really start Wilson over Matt Flynn or Tavaris Jackson? It’s doubtful, but the final spot on this list needs to go to someone and there is no one else that really makes sense. Brock Osweiler in Denver could be an option, if Peyton Manning is not fully recovered. Kirk Cousins could’ve been an option, but he’s behind Robert Griffin III on the depth chart. For now, I’ll stick with Wilson, but the truth is if you are looking for a rookie QB for just 2012, you want to be focusing on the top four options as they have the best chance to produce.
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Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings: